JUNIOR FLOOD BUSTERS

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Climate change will result in less snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and more flooding in the Sacramento Valley in heavy precipitation years. Because of a warming trend, precipitation will come less in the form of snow and more in the form of rain. We will have to prepare ourselves for this change. Junior Flood Busters is a group of 5th-grade student scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and critical thinkers whose purpose is to study how people can adapt to this new reality. We are participating in the 2019 Cal Water H2O Challenge and our theme is flood control.

The picture above of our flooded garden was the inspiration for our project. By engineering a French drain down the middle of the flooded area, we would be able to stop future garden floods. Furthermore, we decided it would be wise to collect this water, store it, and use it in the garden at a later time.

 

OUR PROJECT

What We’ve Done

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GETTING READY FOR TRENCH DIGGING

Students are raking the dirt away and preparing to dig the trench.

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TRENCH DIGGING

The first day was very hard because the ground was very hard. We still made a lot of progress even though the ground was very hard to dig through.

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MORE TRENCH DIGGING

We were trying to dig it out so that we could make a slope, so that the water goes down the trench.

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THE WATER STORAGE HOLE

Here are some of our students working on the water storage hole.

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MOVING A LOT OF DIRT

When we were working on the trench, we had to move A LOT of DIRT. As we got done with the trench, we started the hole for the containers and we had to move A LOT more DIRT.

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TRENCHING OUT OF THE GARDEN

We are digging our trench out the rolling gate and into the field.

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THE TRENCHING HAS BEEN FINISHED!

We finished digging the main trench for the French drain.

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WATER STORAGE HOLE

Some areas in the water storage container hole are over two feet deep. We are about halfway to our goal.

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EXTRA TRENCHING

We added some trenches that will feed into the main trench.

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A DITCH IN THE FIELD

We dug a trench into the field that will move floodwater into a ditch full of rocks.

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A STICKY MESS

The hole that will store our rainwater storage containers is muddy because it has been raining. It is difficult to work in the muddy hole.

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BACKHOE FINISHED THE JOB!

We dug half of the rainwater storage hole using shovels. The backhoe finished the rest of the job. The hole had become too muddy for regular shovels.

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ANOTHER LOOK AT THE BACKHOE

The backhoe did the same amount of work in 30 minutes that took hand shovels about 30 hours.

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WARMER STORMS PRODUCE MORE RAINFALL

Climate change is resulting in warmer storms that produce heavier rainfall which is causing more dangerous floods. We showed that higher temperatures result in more evaporation that will result in more condensation and more rainfall. Jar #1 was filled with 24 ounces of boiling water and saw the most water evaporate and condense on the "ceiling" of the cold bowl. Jar #2 was filled with 24 ounces of hot water that had cooled for ten minutes from the boiling point. It evaporated and condensed a little. Jar #3 was filled with 24 ounces of tap water and only had tiny bubble appear on the glass jar.

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LEVELING THE PIT

After the backhoe finished the second part of digging the pit, students and a parent made the bottom level.

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THE PIT HAS BEEN LEVELED!

We were happy after working hard.

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ROCK DONATION RECEIVED

We had rocks delivered to us for free!

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RECEIVING THE PIPES FOR THE FRENCH DRAIN

The French drain pipes were delivered to our school. We brought them to the garden.

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USING A LEVEL TO CHECK THE FRENCH DRAIN SLOPE

We checked to make sure the slope would bring the water to the water storage containers.

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LAYING DOWN THE SOIL SEPARATOR CLOTH

We put down soil separator so that dirt, rocks, and leaves would not get in the trench and clog the perforated pipes.

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MAKING SURE THE PERFORATED PIPE HOLES ARE LINED UP

We put the perforated pipes together so the holes were facing the same way.

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LOWERING THE WATER STORAGE CONTAINERS

We worked together to lower the water storage containers using ropes.

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ADDING ROAD BASE TO MAKE A SLOPE

We added road base and made it slope so the rainwater would go to the French drain trench.

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USING THE POWER SAW

Our parents gave us permission to use a power saw to cut pieces for the valve system. The valve system brings water to the storage containers and to the overflow area in the field.

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PUTTING TOGETHER THE VALVE SYSTEM

We took the pipe pieces that we cut and put them together to make the valve system. The valve system brings water to the storage containers and to the overflow area outside of the garden.

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PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER BY THE STORAGE CONTAINERS

We had to put together more pieces of the valve system by the storage containers so we can control where the water goes.

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VALVE SYSTEM IS LOOKING GOOD!

This picture shows where all the valves are. We can open and close valves to make the water go in the container that we want.

 

"The future depends on what you do today."

Mohandas Gandhi

 
 

LET’S CONNECT

 
 

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